OKLAHOMA CITY — Iowa State Head Coach Bill Fennelly said on Sunday that he wanted his team to avoid Baylor's knockout punch. After trading blows throughout the first three quarters, the Lady Bears finally pulled away and sent the Cyclones to the canvas for the third time this season.
Led by Lauren Cox, Baylor won 67-49 to capture their 10th overall Big 12 tournament championship. The 6-4 junior had 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks, coming up with several key buckets in the second half.
The Lady Bears held Iowa State to five points in the 4th quarter, the lowest ever in a quarter in a championship game. Kim Mulkey leads all Big 12 coaches for most games (51), most wins (42) and win percentage (.824) in the tournament.
This was the ninth time that the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have met in the finals. No. 1 seeds have never lost to a No. 2 seed in the championship game.
Kalani Brown won the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award, and Cox was selected to the All-Tournament Team.
Brown was the leading scorer at this year's tournament with 55 points over three games. She has scored 213 career points at the Big 12 tournament, securing sixth place all-time.
Despite leading for majority of the game, Baylor could not put Iowa State in their review mirror as the Cyclones matched them bucket for bucket. ISU guard Alexa Middleton kept her team within striking distance by scoring a game high 18 points.
Baylor dominated the opening quarter by holding the Cyclones to 35.3% from the field while leading for 8:44. Both teams would trade buckets throughout the 2nd quarter as BU used an 8-0 run to lead 30-25 at the break.
Lady Bears finished the game hitting 8 of their final 10 shots. Baylor will now find out their NCAA tournament destination on Monday, March 18.